This is something many people traveling abroad fail to do, and that’s a great shame. Not only will it give you a better insight into the local culture and way of life, but you may even be graced with the knowledge of a secret beach or fantastic restaurant that only the locals know.
However, while talking to the locals is a simple task in English speaking countries such as New Zealand or Australia, it can be a much more intimidating prospect in places where the English speaking population is limited, such as Argentina and many Asian countries.
If you’re choosing to book your gap year with a specialist organizer, it’s worth inquiring what advice they will give you. A good gap year Argentina specialist for example, should be able to give you hints and tips on how to effectively communicate with the locals.
Embrace The Local Culture
Okay so while this is heavily linked into the first tip, it’s still important enough to deserve a category of its own. A gap year spent backpacking foreign lands is not all about lying on a beach and working on your suntan. Most people go away on a gap year with the hope that they will return home more worldly, enriched and confident. Avoiding the local culture is not the way to do this.
Embracing this culture entails doing things the locals do. This might mean eating strange foods on the street, going to local markets and festivals or even doing some brief volunteer work. Even something that might seem like hard work or downright unappealing at first, may turn out to be your best experience of the trip, and a tale to narrate to friends for years to come.
If you’re booking through a gap year provider and travelling to say, Australia, avoid any gap year Australia firms who offer packages that just take in the well-trodden spots of the Ozzy shores. Ideally you want to get to know the countries native people, not simply spend your days conversing with fellow travelers and British expats. The best gap year Australia specialists will be able to suggest places to visit that aren’t on the covers of the guide books, and advise you on lesser known ways to get in touch with the local life.
Make The Most Of Every Day
While there will probably be many days when you wake up shatteringly tired and are tempted to spend the day in bed – don’t. Remember that this is most likely a once in a lifetime opportunity and any time wasted will be time you regret.
Ensure that however you feel, you fill each day and night with every possible pursuit. Whether it’s getting up early to watch the sunrise, taking a long walk across stunning lands or staying up all night talking to local residents in shabby bars – it’s all making memories that will last a lifetime. You’re not going to return home wishing you spent more of your travels relaxing; you’re only going to wish you filled your days and nights out and about loving the local life.
This article was written by Amy Fowler on behalf of Sport Lived. Amy writes on a variety of topics including methods of finding high quality gap year Australia and gap year Argentina specialists, in addition to other points to consider while traveling.